Everyone has heard that massage is relaxing, but what really makes this true? Science backs up the claim, ensuring that massage can reduce anxiety, increase your range of motion, help you sleep better, and more.
In our daily lives, we do things that can create tightness and tension in our muscles. The fibers that make up our muscles run in multiple directions to allow us the ability to move in the way that we do. When we do motions repeatedly- such as sit all day or carry items on one shoulder, the muscles can lose flexibility. As the fibers begin to remember these patterns, they can become stuck on each other, creating a knot.
During massage, the soft tissue in your body is manipulated in a way that can release tension that has built up in your body. The therapist will work to release adhesions and create relaxation. The manipulation of your soft tissue will help to increase circulation, which, in turn brings more oxygen to your muscle cells and allows them to work more efficiently.
Perhaps the reason most of us get a massage is to relax. But why does massage help with this? Massage triggers your relaxation response- basically the opposite of a fight or flight reaction. During a relaxation response, your heart rate slows down, breathing slows, blood pressure lowers, and of course, muscles relax. This response not only makes us feel calm, but can also reduce anxiety and insomnia. Your therapist will ensure that you leave the spa feeling restored and more relaxed than when you came in.